The findings of the CSO study on child poverty published September 6, 2012, are a scandal. In Ireland:
- More than 200,000 children now living in poverty as new study shows almost one in five households with children living in poverty.
- More than one in four children aged between 12 and 17 are now at risk of poverty.
- Income of households with children is far worse hit than households without children.
In policy terms Government must focus on taking HOUSEHOLDS out of poverty as no child will be taken out of poverty unless the household in which the child lives is taken out of poverty.
It is a scandal that more than 200,000 children are living in poverty in Ireland today (up more than 30,000 in two years). It is also an indictment of successive Governments that more than one in four children between 12 and 17 years of age are living poverty.
It is crucial that Government recognise the scale of child poverty and take effective action to reduce it dramatically by focusing on cutting the number of households in poverty.
While poverty among children 0-5 was 12%, it was 19.2% among 6-11 year olds and 26.1% among 12-17 year olds. Any level of child poverty is of concern but the rise in child poverty to these levels in recent years is profoundly disturbing and does not auger well for the future of Irish society.
It is crucial that, even in difficult economic times, Government protect poor children who are among the most vulnerable in Irish society.”
The CSO study published today shows that households with children saw their disposable income fall by 8.8% in a single year compared with a fall of 2.1% for households without children.
18.7% of households with children are at risk of poverty compared with 11.8% for those in households without children. This has been a constant feature for almost a decade and requires urgent action. Care must be taken to ensure Government policy initiatives do not further damage poor households.
The CSO study entitled: Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) Thematic Report on Children 2004-2010 published September 6, 2012, may be accessed here.